The Ward family is moving to Washington state so I can work for Logos Bible Software (now called the Faithlife Corporation) as a writer and theological/exegetical instructor—and so we can help our church’s supported church-planting missionaries, Tom and Naomi Parr in nearby Anacortes.
There is no way I could possibly thank all the people who have had a positive influence on my life during my eighteen years in Greenville, SC. I believe in the church, because eighteen years in the same one has changed me profoundly. I believe in Christian education, because I literally cannot imagine who I would be without it. I believe in residential Christian higher education, because I cannot imagine who my friends—and wife—would be without it. I believe in the absolute necessity of graduate education for would-be preachers of God’s Word (who, in God’s good providence, are able to attend), precisely because I can readily imagine what I’d be without it. I remember being that, and I shudder.
Tom and Naomi Parr have that good education, and they are using it faithfully in a church plant that, after nine years, is still working to get a good foothold in a very secular culture. I visited them a few months ago and spent a lot of time talking to my respected friend Tom. The Parrs say we are welcome to come, and Laura and I are both excited to serve in a church we’ve been supporting for five and half years through the offerings at Neighborhood Bible Class, the weekly outreach ministry I lead. (Incidentally, Tom was one of the previous leaders of NBC, and was my immediate predecessor as Bible Curriculum Author at BJU Press.)
I believe in the fundamentals of the Christian faith, I’m a convinced credo-Baptist, I’m a redheaded Ph.D., and there aren’t many educational institutions left who want people like me. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Lord brings me back to BJU in the future; I would welcome it. Leaving was not an easy decision, nor one made lightly. I called in all my counselors, the whole multitude and not just Rehoboam’s friends. I sought the right application of Scripture texts about ministry and money. But in the end I had to follow my own theology of discerning God’s will: my wife and I prayed, we are walking with God, and we want to go. Greenville brethren, pray for us. We’d like to stay in touch with you.